RARA-AVIS: God is a Scam

pabergin (pabergin@gte.net)
Mon, 29 Mar 1999 00:13:37 -0500 Fred Willard's enthusiasm notwithstanding (Fred's a damn fine writer who
ought to know better than to link up with half-done, half-thought,
half-completed stroke pieces like God is a Bullet), Mr Teran's debut is
jejune at best, the novel as MTV clip at worst.

Maybe the novel as MTV clip at best. I don't know how much mileage this
cat's got left in him. This is an excusably poor first novel from a guy who
clearly hasn't learned his trade yet. His use of language is beneath
contempt "He andironed (?) out of the desert." Nothing like stopping yr
readers until they figure out . . . oh! yeh! Someone pushing himself up does
kinda look like an andiron. A what? You know, those things in the fireplace.
They got two things pointing down, like arms y'know? The idea, at least the
way I've got it figured out, is NOT to slow yr readers down. Ever. For
anything. Certainly not because you've decided to be impossibly cute with a
metaphor and want them to bask in your wittiness.

Then there's the "voice" Mr Teran employs. To me, it sounds like a mix of
late 60s Mansonoid creep-babble and GenX club/street whining. Not
compelling. Not, well, anything, except maybe cloying. And annoying.

GOD IS A BULLET reads like something written in a week on a constant diet of
speed, vitamins, fast food and vodka. There's nothing wrong with doing it.
Passing it off as literature (and literature is what we're all about here, I
hope) is another story.

There are flashes of real artistry in GIAB, though not nearly enough. The
author may have something to say. But he hasn't said it here. It's one thing
to think Bill Burroughs is the cat's pajamas (he is). It's another to try to
bend his unique genius to the popular crime story (well, he already did
that). It's yet another thing to pump out 300 pages proving that you can't
do it nearly as well.

In the last respect, Teran succeeds.

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